If you give a mom a tough kid, she’ll likely have a hard day.
If a mom has a hard day, she’ll likely feel exhausted.
If a mom feels exhausted, she’ll feel like she can’t do it all.

If you give a mom a tough kid, she’ll likely get some phone calls.
If a mom gets some phone calls, she’ll likely have to attend meetings.
If a mom has to attend meetings, she’ll feel like she’s failing.

If you give a mom a tough kid, she’ll likely end up crying.
Crying on the phone calls, crying in the meetings, crying late at night.

If you give a mom a tough kid, she’ll likely feel alone.

If you give a mom a tough kid, she’ll likely blame herself.

If you give a mom a tough kid, she’ll likely question all she’s done.

If you give a mom a tough kid, she’ll look back at every choice she’s made.
Every phone call, every meeting, every night spent searching for resources.

She’ll remember every time she’s stood up for him and every time she’s calmed him down.
She’ll remember every book she’s read and every parenting method that she’s tried.
She’ll see how far she’s come from what was supposed to be and what is.

She’ll see how strong she is and how very hard she fights.

She’ll remember every time she rolled up her sleeves, dove into the fray, dried the tears, hugged, reassured, redirected, and loved anyway.

She’ll remember every night she cried herself to sleep.
She’ll remember every morning she woke up to try again.

If you give a mom a tough kid, she’ll likely have a hard day.

But if you give a mom a tough kid, she’ll rise to the occasion.

This post originally appeared on the author’s blog

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Jennifer Vail

Jennifer is married to the very handsome man she's loved half her life, with whom she juggles 3 hilarious, quirky, sometimes-difficult-but-always-worth-the-work kids. She is passionate about people and 90's pop culture, can't go a week without TexMex, and maintains the controversial belief that Han shot first. She holds degrees in counseling and general ministries, writes at This Undeserved Life, and can often be found staying up too late but rarely found folding laundry.